Posted under Miscellaneous on Sunday, March 9, 2014 @ 12:30:16 AM
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a while back i got into a discussion with someone on edc.  to the uninitiated, that's everyday carry and refers to the stuff people decide to carry with them at all times.  usually people carry these items because they either feel that it's a good possibility they'll need them throughout the course of their day, or they don't want to be caught in a situation, however unlikely, without these items.

i decided to do a short write up on my edc gear and talk a little about it and how i made my decisions.

a picture's worth a thousand words, so i'll start there.  this is most of my edc stuff.  this is what i'm carrying every time i leave my house if i'm not going somewhere that prohibits me from carrying it either by law (i.e. a school, airport, etc) or by policy (i.e. work).

here's what i carry and why:

benchmade mini barrage (knife).  this should be pretty self explanatory, but everyone can use a good pocketknife.  i use it to open packages, cut wire or rope, and can also do basic food prep with it.  a knife is probably one of the most valuable tools you can have at your disposal in an emergency situation.  although this is a utility knife, in a worst-case scenario, it could be used for personal defense.  benchmade is synonymous with quality, but isn't so expensive as to be unaffordable.  i think i paid $100 for this knife and i expect to depreciate that value over 20 or 30 years.

surefire fury (flashlight).  a lot of people might look at you kind of funny for carrying a light, but i use it almost every day.  it has two output modes, 15 lumens and 500 lumens.  15 lumens is just about the perfect amount of light for household tasks, and is conveniently also pretty good for lighting up your path when walking through the woods to a tree stand before the sun is up.  500 lumens is like having the sun in your pocket and is good for situations where you need more light.  it can also temporarily blind someone and will totally and completely ruin someone's night vision, so it has tactical use as well.  surefire batteries also have a guaranteed 10 year shelf life so they're a great choice for a light that has to "just work" when you need it.

keys.  self explanatory.  bottle opener is handy for those situations where you need to open a bottle.

jetline (lighter).  this is a butane torch.  i carry it because the ability to start a fire is vitally important if you ever become lost and have to spend the night outside.  the torch will work in high wind conditions and even if it's wet.  this particular lighter also has a built-in cigar punch, and as an occasional cigar smoker i find it useful when i want to smoke a cigar and am not at a cigar bar.

nexus 5 (phone).  everyone has to have a phone to stay relevant today.  in an emergency situation, your phone could be the difference between life and death.

glock 19 (pistol).  this will be the difference between someone who is edc'ing for defensive purposes and someone who is not.  the world is filled with unscrupulous people that will not hesitate to do you harm given a chance.  some view carrying a firearm as a 'macho' thing, but i simply feel that it can be an equalizer.  the likelihood of being attacked with a firearm is a non-zero statistical probability and if it ever happens to me i want to have the ability to mount a good defense.  i'd also say that the choice of firearm can be an important one.  i specifically chose 9mm and glock because 9mm is the most prevalent pistol caliber in the world, meaning ammunition is cheap and plentiful.  glock is used by many law enforcement departments, so spare parts should be relatively easy to find in a shtf scenario.  update @ 5/14/14: i've been thinking about the common caliber argument and realize that it goes both ways.  a common caliber is normally easier to find ammunition for but by the same token when there's a run on ammunition it's the first to be unavailable.  i'm thinking that it still makes sense for edc but for shtf i think it's probably a good idea to also have a handgun chambered for a somewhat less popular cartridge as well, like 45 long colt, 44 special or 10mm.

in addition to what i carry on my person, i also carry certain items in my vehicle:

car charger for my cell phone - in case i'm away from home or otherwise without shore power for an extended period of time i want to make sure i can still stay in touch with friends and family and call for help if necessary.

food and water - i usually keep a liter or two of water as well as some sort of food (i.e. peanut butter crackers or beef jerky) in my trunk.  it lasts indefinitely and i view it as a 'set it and forget it' thing.  if you ever need it, you'll be really glad to have it.  if not, it only cost you 2 minutes to put it there.

flashlight - i keep a rechargeable flashlight in my car.  since it's hooked up to the car for power, i know it's always charged and ready to go.  the one i have has three light output levels as well as a strobe feature.

ammunition and holster - i keep these in my glove box.  some folks will carry spare magazines on their person, but i find it to be both too paranoid and too inconvenient.  folks have also come under legal fire in the courts when dealing with self defense scenarios as well.  apparently carrying extra magazines can be used to show intent that you were "looking for trouble".  same deal as food and water.  throw them in the glove box and forget about them.

emergency radio - although i do not presently carry one of these in my car, i intend to start doing so in the near future.  a crank driven weather radio is useful in emergency situations because it allows you to stay up to date on weather as well as any government-issued emergency bulletins without having to rely on having electricity or batteries.